Wellington Scoop

Zero carbon challenge launches for small businesses

Press Release – Zero Carbon Challenge
A helping hand for local small enterprises is aiming to build thriving businesses working to reduce carbon emissions in the areas of Housing and Building, Energy, Waste, and Transport.

Sponsored by the Wellington City Council and Callaghan Innovation, the Zero Carbon Challenge is an eight week programme bringing the business, social enterprise, and local government sectors to work together to develop the low carbon economy and get a few great Wellington businesses going along the way.

Currently, Wellington City produces net 1.1 million tonnes of carbon every year. If those emissions were trapped in a balloon, it would hold 675 times the volume of the Westpac Stadium. To stay in the climate safe zone, Wellington needs need to cut emissions by half in the next 11 years, then to zero by 2050. The Council’s Te Atakura – First to Zero blueprint outlines a plan to do just that.

Formerly named the Low Carbon Challenge, the programme launched four years ago. Since then, alumni like Mevo, Organic Dynamic, and Wā Collective have grown into thriving businesses doing their part to help Wellington reduce its carbon emissions. Past participant Olie Body of Wā Collective says: “The Zero Carbon Challenge gave us such a solid grounding and boost, not only in the eco-system of Wellington start-up, but within New Zealand. Through passionate, skilled mentorship and experiential learning, our team was met with the support and challenge we needed. I couldn’t speak of this venture highly enough and recommend the Zero Carbon Challenge to anyone wanting to really make a difference in this space and level up their business game”.

The programme will offer mentorship and networking across Wellington for early stage businesses, as well as a stipend to support each team’s journey. It is delivered by PledgeMe, New Zealand’s first crowdfunding platform, which means more time spent refining the business’ story and engaging with their crowd and customers. After eight weeks of workshops, mentoring, and training in June and July, all teams will launch a PledgeMe campaign to fund their work.

In addition, the Zero Carbon Challenge gives new businesses and initiatives the tools and connections they need to succeed long past the Challenge. All successful campaigners will have access to matched funding from the ZCC Partnership Fund to keep scaling their business.

Colm Kearney of Callaghan Innovation says: ‘We believe Kiwis can lead the world in developing technology that accelerates positive environmental change. That’s why Callaghan Innovation are proud to support the Zero Carbon Challenge, with its aim of embedding more low carbon businesses within our community.’

Applications are now open at www.zerocarbonchallenge.nz

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  1. Paula Benefit, 23. April 2019, 15:41

    Hey all you Zeros why don’t you get the govts that have allowed deforestation to occur globally to re plant the trees they’ve cut down? Atmospheric Co2 is not a local thing.

  2. Jamie, 23. April 2019, 19:12

    1.1m tonnes needs 137500 hectares of established growing native forest to offset the emissions every year. That is 137,500,000 trees or a large share of the 1BT programme. Time to start being friendly with a farmer and offering to plant some trees. That’s just for Wellington – Auckland would equate to heaps more.
    So meeting the zero ideal is not just a farmers’ problem, and luckily we have the land to offset our emissions.

  3. Keith Flinders, 24. April 2019, 9:16

    Is this another half-cocked money-wasting “feel good” idea sponsored by the WCC ? Full marks to the private organisations for taking the initiatives though.

    Let’s get serious WCC and deal to really important aspects. The 2014 council let the trolley bus service be taken out with hardly a whimper from then councillors. So now we have thousands of bus movements through the city each day, and over 99% are diesel vehicles. That is where the WCC needs to focus and pressure the GWRC to comply with its statutory requirements.

    There are 512 bus movements, all old diesels, in and out of Karori each business day alone. 256 in, 256 out, less the services they can’t get drivers for.

    Hector Street, Seatoun, has been turned into a bus terminus with old diesel buses every 10 – 15 minutes over 16 hours a day. An intolerable situation for its residents with diesel particulate matter plus other nasty emissions spewed over their properties, and noise levels that impact conversation let alone sleep.

    What are the GWRC doing about this ? The answer is nothing, so I urge the WCC to stop their window-dressing feeble attempts and do something positive instead. Start by petitioning the GWRC to clean up its act and stop impacting the health and wellbeing of all who live and work in this the Capital City of NZ.

  4. Tony Jansen, 24. April 2019, 10:46

    Right on Keith. But it will fall on deaf ears of course! When have these Councillors and this administration ever listened to the people?